First and foremost, Happy New Year! We hope 2019 holds great things for you and yours.
Now, back to business! Here is a friendly reminder to business owners of the things that I would recommend doing in the coming weeks:
January 1st: Florida’s minimum wage increases to $8.46 for hourly employees and minimum direct wage of $5.44 for tipped employees. Employers must post the new minimum wage rates in a conspicuous location. And, don’t forget—if you have employees who are working below the new minimum wage, be sure to increase their pay as of January 1, 2019.
Renew your Secretary of State filings: Don’t forget to file your annual reports with the secretary of state, if applicable to your business.
Issue Tax Forms: Check deadlines and talk to your accountant to ensure you are timely issuing all of the proper tax forms, such as 1099’s and W-2’s.
For My Fellow Attorneys: the beginning of the year might be a good time to check and see if your Florida Bar Trust Accounting Plan is current, if you are required to maintain one. Make sure your trust accounting for 2018 is complete and reconciled. Also, take a look at the holidays observed by your local, state, and federal courts so you can plan your year accordingly.
All Other Employers: go over your employment documents. Has it been a while since your employee handbook was revised? Is it a good time to review your employees’ job descriptions to ensure they accurately reflect their day-to-day activities? If you haven’t had a board or members’ meeting lately, look into doing.so. You can set goals for the quarter or even the year, look back at what worked in 2018 and what didn’t, and update your by-laws, if needed. You may also want to go over your insurance policies with a licensed agent to be sure that you have ample coverage in areas like workers’ compensation (if required), general liability, and even employment practices liability.
That’s all for now! Best of luck for a successful 2019!
***Please note that this information is based on laws, rules, or guidelines applicable in Florida. It is not intended to be, or otherwise construed as, legal advice. If you have questions or concerns specific to your business, you can set an appointment through our website (www.thorpelawyers.com) for a consultation.